The adoption of digital technology is increasing the attractiveness of the construction career for young adults

According to new research, a cultural shift in the attitudes of younger generations, driven by the growth in the use of technology, has boosted the popularity of a career in construction.

A survey of 2,000 18-29 year olds by construction technology platform NBS, conducted by One Poll, found that 56% of respondents now see a career in construction as an attractive prospect.

Analysis of the data also showed that a job as a civil or structural engineer is the second most sought-after job in the UK in the age group surveyed and is now second only to the roles of health professionals. However, the NBS has warned that training these potential new recruits could be difficult, with teacher shortages threatening to affect the viability of essential construction-related courses.

The research showed that the growing use of digital technology by the construction industry was a driver of increased interest in the sector, but 31% of respondents also said they wanted to build “a better physical world “by working in industry.

NBS CEO Russell Haworth said: “Clearly perceptions about construction are changing. Young people are now realizing that this is not the boring, dangerous and messy job that educators and guidance counselors have mislabeled it for years. It’s great to see such a resurgence of interest after very difficult years in terms of recruitment. The challenge for the sector now is to jump on this opportunity, we must not miss it as has happened before.

The survey data also showed that more women are now considering a career in construction than in the past, with more than a fifth of women now “very interested” in the sector. Young female respondents also suggested that the sector is now seen as more inclusive, with 57% of respondents describing the sector as diverse.

More generally, more than a third of respondents said they were interested in construction because they saw it as an industry ‘in the midst of positive change’.

Salary and earning potential as an engineer were also key motivators, with “good pay” ranking high on the list of incentives. What followed was a good work-life balance, a respectful work environment, interesting work and working with nice people.

However, despite renewed interest from a younger generation looking to make their way in the industry, another recent study by the Association of Colleges found that skills shortages among staff seeking to teaching construction slows progress.

The Association of Colleges reported that 85% of higher education institutions have struggled to find staff to teach relevant subjects. NBS said this issue needs to be resolved if its research is confirmed in reality and there is an influx of interest in construction roles over the next six months.

Haworth concluded: “This study has proven to be a litmus test of where the industry is heading over the next 20 years – seeing more women and greater diversity entering the workforce will only continue its growth. upward trajectory. With so much interest from young people, our next challenge is to turn the interest into long and successful careers. »

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